Plantations of introduced conifers (and occasionally non-native broadleaves like red oak) make up about 70% of the total area. Most of these woodlands have been planted since 1940. They cover large areas in the uplands, have replaced native woodlands along some valley sides and have been planted on reclaimed industrial land.
More than half of the trees are Sitka spruce. The rest include Norway spruce (the traditional Christmas tree), larches, pines and Douglas fir. More than half are owned and managed by Natural Resources Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.
Native woodlands make up the remaining 30% of our woodlands. They are scattered throughout the Welsh countryside, often on land that was too difficult or too poor to clear for agriculture. Many are the remnants of the native, broadleaved woodland that once covered much of Wales. Oak is the commonest tree, with ash, beech, sycamore, birch and alder making up most of the rest. Yew, the only conifer native to Carmarthenshire, is found wild in a few woodlands. Most native woodlands are privately owned, many by farmers. They are often small, covering just a few hectares. In the past many were managed for a wide range of products.
Woodlands and forests are also valuable places for recreation and education and are an important part of the Carmarthenshire landscape. They generate employment and, by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, play their part in fighting climate change.